An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


l) A sacerdotal pronouncement of God's love and favor, addressed to one or more persons. The BCP prescribes forms of blessing to be used by a bishop or priest prior to the dismissal in Rite 1 eucharistic liturgies. Although no form of blessing is required in the Rite 2 eucharistic liturgies, all four Rite 2 eucharistic prayers allow a blessing at the conclusion of the service. The BOS provides Seasonal Blessings, which may be used by a bishop or priest whenever a blessing is appropriate. A nuptial blessing of the husband and wife concludes the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage (BCP, pp. 430-431). The Reconciliation of a Penitent, Form One, begins with a blessing of the penitent by the priest. The deacon may be blessed by the celebrant before reading or singing the gospel at the eucharist. Individuals may also be blessed by a bishop or priest outside the context of a liturgy for pastoral reasons. The BOS provides a form for the Blessing of a Pregnant Woman, which may be done privately. 2) A blessing may also be used to consecrate or dedicate something to holy use. The celebrant blesses the water to be used in baptism (BCP, pp. 306-307). The elements of the eucharist are blessed in the prayer of consecration. The BCP provides a form for the blessing of oil for the Anointing of the Sick (p. 455), and for the consecration by a bishop of the oil of chrism for use in baptism (p. 307). Wedding rings may be blessed at the Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage (p. 427). The new fire is blessed at the Lighting of the Paschal candle in the Great Vigil of Easter (BCP, p. 285). The BOS provides forms for the blessing of a home. Forms for the Dedication of Church Furnishings and Ornaments are provided in the BOS. Other items for use in or out of the church may be blessed for pastoral reasons.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.